Using Enneagram With Teams

Learn how how to help teams utilize the data on their Cloverleaf Team Dashboard.

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Written by Team
Updated over a week ago


  • Identify the three triads of the Enneagram assessment

  • Guide teams to use Enneagram insights to improve communication

  • Incorporate information from Enneagram into a Cloverleaf SWOT

ENNEAGRAM OVERVIEW AND KEY FACTS The Enneagram assessment framework provides unique insight to individuals and teams. You might remember from Module 2, we also shared how to use the individual aspect of Enneagram, specifically the stress and the growth, during the opening of the team session.

There are 9 different types within Enneagram and those 9 types can be grouped into three Triads: the Gut Triad, the Heart Triad, and the Head triad.

Each triad represents a specific lens through which three of the nine types see the world. This impacts how they perceive situations, emotions and process information. In the same way each person has a dominant Enneagram type that incorporates aspects of other types, each individual has a dominant triad.

Understanding the triads helps teams to understand each other - those that are similar to them and those that may be different. It may help reduce judgment and increase understanding.

The Gut Triad (8s, 9s and 1s)

- Value freedom, fairness and independence

- Prefers autonomy rather than others dictating their decisions

- The source of their decisions comes from their gut; sometimes they need time to adjust their perspective and get in the right frame of mind to attack challenging problems

- Strong and determined leaders who are driven by mission and will speak up for others

- Can be very stubborn and its critical that they practice flexibility when working in teams; it’s very important that they coach themselves to be open to the ideas and opinions of others

- May have strong emotional responses; teammates should help redirect their passion where it can create results

- Other teammates will get better results with 8s, 9s and 1s, introduce change through open discussion rather than forcing it; don’t take things personally and help illustrate risk during decision making.

The Head Triad (5s, 6s, 7s)

- Make decisions via thorough analysis; sometimes to a fault

- This analysis can enable them to strategize and act with confidence as they’ve done their homework

- Passionate when they believe in something - Very observant, collecting the most up to date data and information

- May hesitate due to assumed risk; can get stuck in analysis paralysis

- When dealing with 5s, 6s and 7s, come with data and facts to create ally ship or collaboration; consider their questions are an investment in quality assurance, support them in taking risks by illustrating possibilities and outcomes clearly

The Heart Triad (2s, 3s, 4s)

- Responds to circumstances and the world from their feelings

- High emotional and social intelligence; they sense underlying relational patterns

- Give them time and space during difficult decision-making

- Driven to succeed from a place of purpose

- Highly intuitive; bring empathy and compassion to situations and teams

- Will serve as a peacemaker and are always looking out for collectively beneficial outcomes

- Support these team members in not being distracted by people-pleasing rather than moving forward on a project or decision

- Appreciates their wins and accomplishments to be acknowledged

- Others should support 2s, 3s and 4s in noticing the practical or data-driven aspects of situations; help them understand that it’s okay if not every person is completely satisfied by every decision

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The great part about the way Enneagram is positioned on the team dashboard is that you can use ANY of the triads for ANY aspect of the SWOT as each triad has strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and threats to productivity.

What you want to look for is similar to some of the other assessments - a team with an even distribution of individuals across the triads, and teams that have a very high percentage in ONE of the triads


Position as a strength:

In a perfect world, a team would have roughly a third (give or take) of their team members within each triad to offer a variety of perspectives.

A team with a balance of team members in each triad will thrive in the following areas

- Balancing facts and feelings

- Mitigating conflict - Collaborating

- Project Planning

Why? The combination of approaches to problem solving and the variety of decision making styles will help create a balanced approach where no stone is unturned. The strong and determined leaders (gut) will help get things over the finish line. The analytical team members (head) will make sure that decisions are data-driven and the more empathic team members (heart) will ensure that the relationships between the team members are considered or paramount.


Below are several examples of imbalanced triads. Depending on the overall team dashboard, they can be positioned as an opportunity for growth OR a threat to growth/productivity.


With a large percentage of team members being 8s, 9s or 1s it could get VERY competitive. A group of people all striving for autonomy and independence will find it hard to collaborate or make decisions as each will be vying for their own opinion. A great strategy here is to actually rotate project leaders or meeting facilitators. The team has to agree on some team norms.

Without too many HEAD and HEART triad team members, this group of people will need to commit to fact-finding and not just rely on instincts when it comes to strategy or collaboration. They will also benefit from formal recognition efforts or team building activities that remind them of the importance of interpersonal relationships.


A high percentage of 5s, 6s and 7s can really get in their own way and go down rabbit holes of analysis. They will need to put time limits on researching and fact finding missions and give themselves deadlines - and stick to them. They will also have to be aware of constantly questioning each other and its impact on the team’s cohesion and productivity.

Without too many GUT and HEART triad team members, this group of people will need to rely on and identify the natural leaders in the group to help support progress. They will also benefit from team building and focusing on offering positive feedback in real time.


A high percentage of 2s, 3s and 4s will probably really care about one another but might have a hard time focusing on business priorities. At times they may let emotions drive decisions and projects, which can take them off track. The trouble is they won’t realize things are off right away.

Without too many GUT and HEAD team members, this group of people will need to build structure around project planning that requires comprehensive data. It will be important to identify and empower a team member to be the team fact-finder who can also mitigate risk when emotions are running high. They’ll also need to cultivate leadership to be able to drive results and support progress.

If a team is completely missing one of the triads, use the Enneagram team dashboard to discuss the impact of the absence of one of the triads. Where does this show up when it comes to team collaboration or decision making?

Additional Resources

We hope this guide is valuable in helping you maximize your ability to lead teams through making the most of Cloverleaf!

Cloverleaf has a lot to offer, so check out our blog or other articles about the TEAM Dashboard.

For more help with Cloverleaf, view related help articles:

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